Yes, salaries are escalating and people everywhere are saying the sky is falling and why did we have a lockout only to see this?... etc. etc.
Except they're forgetting the key thing in all of this:
The players are guaranteed 56 percent of the leagues hockey revenues. No more. No less.
A certain amount of every player's salary goes into an escrow account and if the players as a whole make more than that 56 percent this season, they pay it back to the league at the end of the year.
That money then goes into revenue sharing for the league's 30 clubs (dependent on certain factors).
It's a fail-safe for the owners across the league. They are legally entitled to 44 percent of total revenues and can take back money from the players to attain that figure.
That's why Gary Bettman is still the NHL Commissioner and that's why owners can dish out these contracts in the first place.
They can't lose.